Dunlop celebrate 125th anniversary with victory in the Nuerburgring 24 hour race, partnering Mercedes AMG
• Torrential Rain gives an opportunity to demonstrate Dunlop’s wet weather development work
• Dunlop shod cars finish 1st and 3rd.
• Third major win for Dunlop teams in one weekend
The 41st ADAC Zurich Nuerburgring 24-hour race was one of the most eventful editions of the long distance classic. The weather changed from bright sunshine to torrential rain in the first four hours – and the race even had to be stopped for several hours due to poor visibility.
This race is one of the most important races for car manufacturers and tyre companies. Dunlop, (celebrating the 125thanniversary of their invention of the pneumatic tyre) had focused development on wet weather and cold temperature performance and this played a major role in the outcome of the race.
After a titanic battle and numerous changes of the lead, Bernd Schneider, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Sean Edwards and Nicki Thiim’s Dunlop-equipped Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 came through to win – taking the first ever Mercedes-Benz win in the 24h Nuerburgring , and repeating the team’s emphatic victory in the Dunlop Dubai 24h in January.
210,000 spectators witnessed a frantic race – with a huge grid of 210 cars taking the start. In the wet weather after the restart of the race, the Black Falcon and ROWE Racing Mercedes entries began to climb to the top of the leaderboard as their wet grip gave them the traction and braking performance needed on the unique, undulating 24.4km lap in the Eifel Mountains.
Former F1 and DTM driver Bernd Schneider, now a double 24h winner in 2013, stated. "I have won almost everything I wanted to win in my career, but I’d never finished this race before. The Dunlop tyres were great, especially in the rain, we did everything right. I could set super fast lap times and we pull a gap"
The Black Falcon team beat the #25 BMW for the victory – with the two Rowe Racing Mercedes SLS AMG entries battling over the final podium spot with the Klaus Graf, Thomas Jäger, Jan Seyffarth, Nico Bastian entry winning this intra-team battle to put two Dunlop Mercedes on the podium.
Jean-Felix Bazelin, General Manager, Dunlop Motorsport Europe stated: "Last year we showed our pace, leading in the wet with ROWE, and we have continued to focus on developing our wet and cold weather performance with new compounds and constructions being tested extensively over the winter. To see fastest laps from the front running SLS cars, often 20 seconds quicker than the competition at critical stages of the race, is evidence of our focus on providing the wet grip and braking performance that gives drivers the confidence to push"
The Nuerburgring is important to Dunlop as it is one of the few GT categories in the world where all the major motorsport tyre manufacturers compete in the same race.
Jean-Felix added: "It is the driver's confidence in our tyres that helps them to be consistently quicker than our rivals in changing conditions, which is one of the challenges of the Nuerburgring. We undertook very effective work with our partners during the development phase of our 2013 GT range"
This was the third major success in one weekend for Dunlop. In motorcycle road racing, Michael Dunlop (who despite the name, is not related to the man who invented the pneumatic tyre 125 years ago) won the supersport category of the North West 200, the famous street race in Northern Ireland. Dunlop-shod bikes took the first three places in this event. On four wheels, final preparations for the Le Mans 24h took place at Imola in the second round of the European Le Mans Series. Team Thiriet by TDS racing took Dunlop’s second overall victory of the year at the Italian circuit.
Dunlop is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high and ultra high performance tyres with an impressive track record of motor sport successes. Dunlop is a technical partner of GreenGT and AMG Customer Motorsport.
Dunlop’s extensive racing experience has led to innovative technologies for tyres designed for everyday motoring. 2013 is the 125th anniversary of Dunlop and our founder's introduction of the pneumatic tyre.
After initial high-speed records, Dunlop celebrated its first triumph at the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1924 and is the most successful tyre manufacturer with 34 wins at the race. In 2012,Dunlop were the choice of the LMP2 champions in the European Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championships, and the overall champions in VLN Endurance Championship.
Dunlop tyres are also proven in the top Touring Car races around the world, including the globally popular Australian V8 Supercar championship and British Touring Car Championships
The latest Dunlop road tyres are specified for fitment on award winning vehicles from Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes, VW, Renaultsport and BMW.
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